Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Stifling Creativity?

In my early days of writing, I knew several other writers who insisted that editing is a way to destroy, or at least distract from, creativity. If it's not perfect the first time, it's never going to be perfect, and if deep editing is required, the writer "obviously" doesn't have enough talent to make it in the real world.

I wonder how that worked out for them...

Anyway, those of us who actually understand the creative process realize revision and editing are two of the most vital parts of making our work the best it can be. Without taking the time to improve what's written, that creative work will, at best, get put up on an obscure website or at the bottom of the "free" bin on the Kindle store where a few people will wander by, glance at it, and move on to something else.

Now, if you ask me, that is more stifling to creativity than putting in the effort to make the first draft into a second draft. Then turn that second draft into a third, forth, and eventually final, revised draft that is so awesome people get inspired to create their own creative work.

Editing is how creativity shines. It doesn't stifle creativity. In fact, laziness is what stifles creativity, more than anything else in the world.

So go! Write something, draw it, form it from clay or wood, then polish it, finesse the lines, and fill them in with color and beauty.

Giles tries to be creative 24/7, but it turns out his editing time is more limited than he'd like. Nevertheless, he pokes at his keyboard, fixes his writing, and starts all over again as often as he can.

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